5 Tips For Choosing Pet Health Insurance

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 10/15/20 •  8 min read
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Many proud pet parents spend a lot of time with their pets. Who wouldn’t? I mean, those creatures are just so adorable! From making sure they are well fed, to buying lots of fun and safe toys for them to play. If you’re reading this and you don’t own a pet yet (either a dog, cat, or any other pet), get one today and you’ll keep asking yourself how you have survived without one. But then having lots of fun toys to play with or the best crate to sleep in wouldn’t do if they should get hit by a car, or fall seriously ill from chewing a tennis ball. Now that’s why you need a health insurance for your pet. It can help you plan for your dog or cat health care and safely protect you from the unexpected cost of your pet’s health.

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The major reason for having pet insurance plans is to help cover veterinary bills as pet insurance reimburses you for some of the veterinary bills if your cat or dog gets injured or falls sick. Pet insurance plans are important to you as a pet owner and to your pet as well.

Lots of people are confused when it comes to pet healthcare insurance

They are filled with questions like How much does pet insurance cost? What does pet insurance cover? How to know what pet insurance cost? Can I get pet insurance that covers dental cleaning? It might seem like a lot to take in, but we will make it less stressful for you. Choosing the right pet insurance might require you to be careful and cautious while you shop as the policies are not standardized, plus they come with different deductibles and premiums.

Injuries and sickness aside, pets can also develop dental issues like cavities and periodontal disease. In order words, you also need to consider your pet’s dental health, and to do that you’ll have to get them the best food, get routine cleanings, brush their teeth on a daily, and oral examinations. Now that’s a lot of stress and more dentist money to pay. Choosing a pet insurance that covers dental cleaning will not only help keep your pet’s teeth clean but will also help you ease the financial burden.

Before we proceed, we would like to list out the answers to few important questions you need to ask yourself about pet insurance.

Do I Really Need Pet Insurance?

I have had people argue why they don’t need pet insurance. I’ve heard things like “pet insurance isn’t worth it.” Why pay for insurance when I can simply save up money to foot my pets’ bill? Why that might seem like a good option, have you thought about how to deal with your pet’s medical bills that are way beyond out-of-pocket treatment cost? Although pet health insurance cost varies, the right plan allows you settle bills like this with ease and lets you examine different treatment options.

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Basically, you pay for the initial cost of the vet bill, you send a receipt of payment and a completed claim form to your pet’s insurance company for reimbursement. Some providers take about a month to process your claim, and after completing the process they send you a reimbursement check. However, the amount you receive as your reimbursement depends on some factors like allowance per procedure on your policy, policy details, and exclusions, etc.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Pet insurance policy vary widely, so getting the right coverage for your pet is very important. A good pet insurance should cover:

Moving forward, here are 5 tips to help answer questions like how much does pet insurance cost? What does pet insurance cover? Pet insurance that covers dental cleaning?

  1. Research for Pet Insurance Plans When Your Pet is Healthy

This is mostly the major mistake pet parents make with their pet. All might be well with your pet today, what about tomorrow? Since we can’t really predict the future, there is no way to know if your dog is going to get injured while playing or if your cat will swallow a pair of socks that might choke her to death. The safest option is to be prepared, and by doing so you’ll help prevent any mayhem. Pet insurance plans usually don’t cover pre-existing illness or injury your pet may be suffering from before enrolling in a policy.

Going through their plans will help you understand what’s excluded in the coverage

The best time to insure your pet is when he’s still young to make it easier to find broad coverage. Once you apply for a policy and keep up with your premiums, most plans will offer you a lifetime coverage. Also, some providers might reject adult pets for first time enrollment, so it’s important you enroll your pets for a health insurance when they are still young and healthy.

  1. Compare Pet Insurance Companies

This is pretty basic, there are lots of pet insurance providers offering different packages and benefits. Although they all provide similar coverage type, pet health insurance cost varies based on your location, your pet’s age, and the type of coverage you want. So in order to successfully get the right company to enroll your pet in, you should do a comparison of pet insurance providers to be fully aware of their cost and services. During your checks, you’ll notice a difference in premiums, deductibles, plans, reimbursement, and exclusions. Some pet insurance providers offer discounts if you’re planning to insure more than one pet. However, this doesn’t stand to make them the best choice for your pet. As you continue to research, you’ll find out that some insurers offer price lists that are not too expensive, better customer satisfaction, and an extensive coverage tailored to meet your needs. Others will have limits on claims payout and hidden exclusions. Always ensure to do a proper research to compare pet health insurance cost and its value before making your pick.

  1. Research Coverage Options

With an extensive range of coverage options to choose from, you can simply pick a plan that covers cost due to accidents only or accidents and illness. The more coverage there is included in the plan, the more expensive your policy gets. Some plans may have exclusions for congenital conditions, hereditary conditions, pre-existing conditions, and may have limits on claims. It is advisable to learn about the factors that may affect coverage before enrolling. Ask about premium increment and they should let you know how your claims will affect your premium. Before applying for a policy, read carefully and understand things that are covered and the ones that are not. If you’re not certain or what you’re reading isn’t clear you should give the company a call and ask them to help clarify. Some plans cover major sickness like cancer, while others don’t. For your pet insurance plan, dental coverage for your dog or cat may be included. It might also require you to buy it as an added plan. Either way, make sure to speak with your insurer to clarify what the plan covers.

  1. Decide What Coverage Works For You

The type of coverage you choose determines what you get. Some pet insurance coverage offer wellness coverage for certain routine care like flea and heartworm treatment, annual wellness exams and tests, and vaccinations. Some insurance coverage also takes care of lab tests, injuries, surgeries, and illnesses. Other coverage option covers hereditary conditions. To gain a better knowledge about your pet’s health, a professional veterinarian is in the best situation to provide all the answers. Set up an appointment with him for a checkup and consult with him for possible breed related health conditions your pet is likely to encounter.

There are 3 types of coverage that protect you and your pet from enormous vet bills.

  1. Understand the Insurance Reimbursement and Pick the Best

Pet insurance plans give you the option to select a reimbursement percentage of the medical care cost paid to the veterinarian. For some insurers, you can choose between 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement percentage when you enroll for a plan. You should note that the calculations may vary as some will pay a percentage of the cost paid to the vet while others pay what they consider to be appropriate for a particular treatment. The percentage reimbursed might not be up to the total cost and you’ll be left to pay the rest. Some plans offer deductibles and apply them on treatment for illnesses or injuries while others might require you to pay the deductible annually.

I’m sure the tips listed above has been able to give you an insight into pet health insurance. The key is to research, read and understand each policy before enrolling.

 

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Tom

Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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